Tuesday, December 26, 2006

I just might not hate football anymore

I've killed Andy Reid on this blog before, so in the interest of fairness, I'll give him credit when it's due.

In McNabb's 10 starts, the Eagles called pass plays 59% of the time. They had an explosive offense, but it was often inconsistent. They often had short drives of less than two minutes, and as a result the defense was on the field for most of the game.

Since McNabb's injury, Andy Reid has seemingly got religion. He's actually calling (or allowing Marty Morningwheg to call) a football game. The run/pass ratio in Garcia's 6 starts: 50/50.

Suddenly, the Eagles offense has developed consistency. They are able to grind out the clock in the fourth quarter when they have the lead. They had three drives of 7:00 or more in the Cowboys game (as opposed to three scoring drives of 2:00 or less in the first meeting.) The defense, playing 50 snaps instead of 70, suddenly looks dominating again - they held Dallas to their lowest offensive output of the season. Garcia is getting sacked at 1/3 the pace of McNabb. This isn't coincidence - this is the natural result of a balanced offense - something that eluded Andy Reid since John Gruden went to Tampa.

The coaches have really found a groove - their playcalling has been almost perfect. The TE delay called against Dallas' all-out blitz was an ideal play that resulted in a 65-yard gain (it's a TD if Baskett can block that last defender.) The outside safety blitz on 4th-and-1, as well as the CB/safety combo zone blitz on 4th-and-8, were both timely calls that contributed to the big Eagles' win.

Does this mean Andy Reid has learned his lesson? I'm not convinced. I want to see Andy run the ball when Donovan gets back next season. I want to see him run the ball when the Eagles fall behind by 10 points in the 2nd quarter (not this week, hopefully.) But for now, he's making all the right moves, and he gave me the Christmas present I wanted most - beating the Cowboys and earning a playoff berth.

Maybe, just maybe, I don't hate football anymore.

Until next week.


Post a Comment

<< Home